The ikhras awards committee is pleased to announce the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe-Of-The-Month Award for November, 2015 goes to Pope Tawadros II. Pope Tawadros earned this honor after embarking upon a normalizing visit to Jerusalem. The visit to the occupied Palestinian capital marks the first time the head of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church has visited the city since it fell under Israeli occupation in 1967.
After the signing of the Camp David “peace accords” between” the Anwar Sadat regime and the usurping Zionist entity in 1978, the late Egyptian Pope Shenouda III issued a papal ban preventing members of the Egyptian Coptic Church from visiting the Arab city while under Israeli occupation. Israeli tourism to Egypt had boomed following the treaty, but it had little to no reciprocal effect on the part of Egyptians. The treaty, from the outset, as it remains today, was highly unpopular among all Egyptians making it unlikely that any significant number of Egyptians would visit occupied Palestine. Nevertheless, Pope Shenouda was a highly principled and politically astute leader and understood that any visits, even by a handful of Egyptians, including any Egyptian Coptic Christians, would be a propaganda victory for Israeli hasbarists. Pope Shenouda was the head of the church for over 40 years and remained opposed to any normalization with Israel until he died.
[Ikhras Note: Gamal Abdul Nasser‘s words in this video are just as relevant today as they were at the time they were spoken. Freedom, justice, and human emancipation will not be achieved by reactionary forces or those that have turned religion, democracy, and human rights into meaningless slogans shouted out loud to deflect attention from their self-serving collaboration with Western governments. They will only be realized as part of the workers and oppressed Arab masses’ continuing struggle against capitalism, imperialism, reactionary forces, and Zionism. Contrary to what a few celebrity “revolutionaries” and spoiled liberal brats tell Western journalists, the struggle for freedom and social justice is intrinsically linked to the struggle against neo-liberalism, reactionary forces and their foreign sponsors]
[Ikhras Note: Establishment Arabs in Washington divide their time between pandering to the US ruling class and the officials of American-approved Arab dictatorships. They simultaneously ignore the concerns and well-being of the vast majority of Americans, including Arab-Americans, and the oppressed Arab masses. It is left to grassroots popular movements in the Arab world and the US to bring Arabs and Americans together in a global solidarity movement that recognizes Arabs and Americans are bound together by a set of universal human values and the vast majority of both peoples share the same aspirations and goals for their own futures and a better, more just global society.
When we launched Ikhras we shared our own thoughts on change here in the US and abroad and wrote “We support protests, grassroots organizing, community empowerment, nonviolent resistance, education, civil disobedience, strikes, demanding boycott, divestment and sanctions against “Israel”. Such activism must not be ethno-centric nor restricted to within the US. It should include men, women and children across all religious, ethnic, and class divisions and national borders in order to work for progressive change on a global scale affecting us here in the US.”
With the 2011 Arab uprising and the appearance of the Occupy Wall Street movement such an opportunity now appears greater than ever. In that spirit we are pleased to publish this letter of solidarity from Egyptian activists of Tahrir Square to the American people that have taken to their own streets demanding, like the Egyptian revolutionaries, a more just political and economic order.]
To all those in the United States currently occupying parks, squares and other spaces, your comrades in Cairo are watching you in solidarity. Having received so much advice from you about transitioning to democracy, we thought it’s our turn to pass on some advice…We are all watching one another now, and from Cairo we want to say that we are in solidarity with you, and we love you all for what you are doing.
The following is a petition and open letter to Mona Eltahawy.http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/monaeltahawybds/ We call on all Pro-Palestine solidarity activists and supporters of the Egyptian revolution and the 2011 Arab uprising to read, sign and circulate this petition. (Arabic follows English)
Egyptian & Palestinian Flags Side By Side In Tahrir Square
The following post was written by By Hossam el-Hamalawy, an Egyptian journalist in Cairo. It first appeared on the 3arabawy website on July 20, 2011 under the title “Zionism and the Israeli working class.” (Photo provided by Ikhras)
[Ikhras Note: The Arab American community must remain aware of the continuing revolutionary struggle of the Egyptian people, support their fight for freedom, dignity, and justice, and highlight the role of our own American government in Egypt and the region. The Egyptian people continue a struggle for freedom, full sovereignty and independence, and social justice. The outcome is not yet determined, but their victory, in this most geopolitically important Arab state, can break foreign imperialist domination of the region and create a new Egypt and with it a new Arab world. Arab-Americans should make the success of the Egyptian people and their 2011 uprising a central concern. Ikhras Friend Roqayah Chamseddine* takes a look at the relationship between the regime of Hosni Mubarak and the United States, and what the ouster of American imperialism’s main ally in the region means for the future of our beloved Egypt and the Arab world. This article first appeared on The Cynical Arab websiteon February 13, 2011 under the title Apologies For An Empire.]
The Middle East is often spoke of by the elite and their apprenticed citizens in a way an overlord would speak of his slave; commanding, repressive and domineering. For far too long the West has remained the dominant, hegemonic entity in the region – that is until recently.
The Arab-American community must stand with the Egyptian people and their continuing struggle for freedom, full sovereignty and independence, human dignity, and social justice. The establishment Arabs in this country are too busy promoting their careers and enjoying their false sense of prestige on the margins of Washington officialdom. In the meantime the Egyptian people continue a struggle (see video previous post) whose outcome is not yet determined, but the victory of which, in this most geopolitically important Arab state, can break foreign imperialist domination of the region and create a new Egypt and with it a new Arab world. Arab-Americans must make the success of the Egyptian people and their 2011 uprising a central concern. The counter-revolution is underway, and the US regime, its allies in Europe, and puppets in the Arab world, first, and foremost, the tyrannical Saudi regime, are working tirelessly to bring the Arab Spring to an end. Given the continuing meddling of the American government in Egypt, and the extensive relationship between the Pentagon and the repressive Egyptian junta that continues to rule, Arab Americans must highlight and oppose the American role in trying to abort the Egyptian revolution, prevent the achievement of the Egyptians’ national aspirations, and subject the well-being of Egypt and the interests of its people to American imperialist designs. This cause is unlikely to be adopted by the establishment Arabs in Washington, but it should be by the entire Arab-American community.
The clowns at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), James Zogby, and the other careerists posing as Washington’s “Arab Lobby” can learn something from the leaders of Egypt’s revolutionary youth when it comes to dealing with US officials.
The Coalition of the Youth of the 25 January Revolutionrejected an invitation to attend a meeting with Hillary Clinton. The coalition of six youth groups that emerged from Egypt’s revolution refused to meet with Hillary in protest of the United States’ strong support for the ousted tyrant. The group said it did not welcome Clinton’s visit to Egypt and demanded that the US administration make a formal apology to Egypt’s people for its foreign policy towards the country in the past decades. It also added “the Egyptian people are the masters of their own land and destiny and will only accept equal relations of friendship and respect between the people of Egypt and the people of America.” One of the youth leaders told Aljazeera the decision was based on US policies including “US support for regional dictators and the Zionist entity.”
When Mona Eltahawy addressed the racist, Zionist J-Street conference she told the audience “not one anti-Israeli…sentiment was expressed” during the uprising in Egypt. Here is a video in which Egyptian revolutionary youth denounce Amr Moussa and demand that he makes it clear if he believes “Israel is a legitimate state.” Cleary, these Egyptians don’t. This can be heard in the last minute of this video
From 3Arabawy: Amr Moussa, the hypocrite who served Mubarak loyally for 11 years as a foreign minister and 10 years as the secretary general of the Arab Dictators’ League, has been trying to pose as a revolution supporter, even announcing he’ll be running for presidency. In his first public meeting, the youth screwed the living shit out of him. Sorry I can’t translate the video, but if you don’t know Arabic, you are missing out on a lot of fun here!
Mona Eltahawy recently proclaimed at a J Street conference that during the Egyptian revolution:
“not one anti-Israeli or anti-American sentiment was expressed”
Reality suggests otherwise. In what Asa Winstanley characterizes as a “horrible, patronising article,” Amira Hass laments that she was unable to find anyone who would give her an interview.
Me: “Hello, I received your telephone number from the journalist, X.” He: “Please, I’m at your disposal.” Me: “My name is so and so, I have been living in Ramallah for the past X years and I write for the newspaper Haaretz.” He: “No, I don’t deal with the Zionist entity.”
He was polite but determined. And he is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hass goes on to describe the categories of Egyptians who refused to give her an interview. While details vary, all categories hold in common categorical rejection of normalization with “Israel,” or even the appearance thereof.
Get the hint ya Mona. Your normalization with Israel is not shared with or appreciated by your fellow Egyptians. Your Arabic is presumably better than Amira Hass’, so how could you possibly still be blinded to Egyptians’ rejection of Israel? If you can’t renounce your normalization with Israel, it’s better to just ikhrasi.
[Ikhras Note] An excellent article on the development of the Mubarak regime, its relationship with the US and Israel, and the role it played in the region.
SocialistWorker.org journalist Eric Ruder explains how the repressive regime that Hosni Mubarak presides over arose out of a history of nationalist rebellion. This article was written for the March-April 2010 issue of the International Socialist Review.
How did Egypt, once considered a leader of progressive Arab nationalism and a defender of Palestinian national rights, become an open collaborator with the United States and Israel in imposing a siege that defies international law as well as justice to a fellow Arab nation? This collaboration has today made Egypt into an object of scorn, in particular because it seems that the United States has managed to buy its services so cheaply…Egypt’s role in maintaining the siege of Gaza is an extension of its subservience to the overall agenda of the United States. But despite broad support of the Egyptian populace to the national rights of the Palestinian people, the Egyptian regime has always exhibited ambivalence toward the Palestinian cause.